An efficient flexible-order model for 3D nonlinear water waves

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The flexible-order, finite difference based fully nonlinear potential flow model described in [H.B. Bingham, H. Zhang, On the accuracy of finite difference solutions for nonlinear water waves, J. Eng. Math. 58 (2007) 211-228] is extended to three dimensions (3D). In order to obtain an optimal scaling of the solution effort multigrid is employed to precondition a GMRES iterative solution of the discretized Laplace problem. A robust multigrid method based on Gauss-Seidel smoothing is found to require special treatment of the boundary conditions along solid boundaries, and in particular on the sea bottom. A new discretization scheme using one layer of grid points outside the fluid domain is presented and shown to provide convergent solutions over the full physical and discrete parameter space of interest. Linear analysis of the fundamental properties of the scheme with respect to accuracy, robustness and energy conservation are presented together with demonstrations of grid independent iteration count and optimal scaling of the solution effort. Calculations are made for 3D nonlinear wave problems for steep nonlinear waves and a shoaling problem which show good agreement with experimental measurements and other calculations from the literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2100-2118
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Nonlinear waves
  • Time domain
  • Finite differences
  • Potential flow
  • Ocean engineering
  • Multigrid

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